Global auto sales in September rose 4.5 percent from a year ago, according to industry consultant and analyst LMC Automotive, which called the results "solid."
For the month, worldwide light vehicle sales were 82.3 million on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, LMC said in a report issued on Friday.
LMC's forecast for the full year 2013 is 83.5 million light vehicles, up 2.8 percent from 81.2 million in 2012. Light vehicles do not include large commercial trucks.
China was the leading nation in September auto sales, at 1.9 million in sales, followed by the United States at 1.1 million.
LMC said its report used preliminary sales figures for September in China.
September sales increased 18 percent in China and fell 4 percent in the United States, LMC said.
However, the annualized selling rate rose in both countries, to 22.1 million in China from 19.2 million, and to 15.2 million in the United States from 14.5 million a year ago, LMC said.
In Western Europe, where sales have not recovered as quickly from the 2008-2010 economic downturn as those in the United States, September auto sales rose 3.6 percent to 1.2 million.
For the full year, LMC sees Western Europe auto sales at 12.7 million vehicles, down 3 percent from 13.1 million last year. LMC projects Western Europe's auto sales rising slightly to 12.8 million vehicles next year. It also expects that auto sales will not return to 2011's level of 14.4 million vehicles until 2017.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; editing by Matthew Lewis)